Preventing formation of 'tentacle-like' structures can stop spread of cancer
A new study has revealed that preventing formation of tentacle-like structures called "invadopodia" can help in stopping the spread of cancer completely.
The research group of Dr. John Lewis at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB) and the Lawson Health Research Institute (London, ON) has confirmed that "invadopodia" plays a key role in the spread of cancer.
To spread, or "metastasize," cancer cells must enter the blood stream or lymph system, travel through its channels, and then exit to another area or organ in the body. This final exit was the least understood part of the metastatic process. Previous research has shown cancer cells are capable of producing "invadopodia," a type of extension that cells use to probe and change their environment. However, their significance in the escape of cancer cells from the bloodstream has been unclear.
Results confirmed the cancer cells formed invadopodia to reach out of the bloodstream and into the tissue of the surrounding organs, they essentially formed "tentacles" that enabled the tumor cell to enter the organ. However, through genetic modification or drug treatment, the scientists were able to block the factors needed for invadopodia to form. This effectively stopped all attempts for the cancer to spread.
The study is published in Cell Reports.
(Posted on 01-09-2014)